|watercolor by dear artist friend Jacklyn Ritz Hennard
Plucked from the possibility, day after day of all that could and does not happen to crush body soul and spirit - A post war child who read and heard of ravaged survivor faces with blank eyes lived long enough to see buildings fall and terror on ash whitened faces running through rubbled streets. As I, by the grace of some unseen entity positioned to wake each morning in my grandparents’ bed to watch the tree outside my window grow skyward stronger each year surviving each storm, to warm myself at a fireplace in winter as snow falls gently on mullioned windows, to walk so far free from doctors’ visits, to phone a shopping list and receive food of choice in paper cartons, all this and so much more- an ongoing largesse, a bounty of such kindness positions me to be able to be, as meant to be, a mitzvah manifester - to perform anonymously small acts of kindnesses when opportunity presents -dropping a crumbled five dollar bill on the ground for a tearful boy who’d lost his money for a present for his father returning from service, paying for a family’s dinner bill celebrating the birthday of a new baby with their ninety three year old mother, holding a door open in the rain or sunshine, smiling at someone for no reason, thanking another for any service given, leaving a large tip on a table in a restaurant in an unfamiliar town, buying new pillows for out placed children in the same orphanage where my husband spent some time as a toddler long long ago, opening the door to a tiny kitten in the storm, sending donations, slipping poems into pockets of the grieving, the joy of rushing away from these deeds under the cloak of anonymity. In fact, I shudder to speak of such mitzvahs meant always to be unheralded lest they become braggadocio these acts of kindness that have always and shall always remain unclaimed - seeking to repair this broken world -these are small gifts to myself - sprinkling the sense that the world is kind - a microscopic unseen hand within the vast kindness of the Source that has so smiled upon me – offering some kindness so others might feel love of from an unseen softness smiling upon them too – Oh, I watch from spectacular safety another spring and my garden flowers blossom as children, as so many living fall murdered dead, as starvation, deprivation, hatred, chilling indifference clump as golems, among us, as oceans crest, ice floes melt on and on the tsunami of unkindness roils - I continue for now, miraculously held in some universal toss of monumental kindness to be able to return a speck of kindness whenever and however the possibility presents - I have no memory of any individual kindnesses received - the vastness of my good fortune shimmers inexpressible - my flecks join unseen legions doing the same-riding the tips of waves of wonder in spite or perhaps somehow because of the horror of all that surrounds the flowers that bloom . This is ongoing kindness I have received. This the kindness I seek to repay.